Book Stats

  • Book 2 of the series
  • Focuses on the Voyager and Next Generation crews
  • Published by Pocket Books in 2002
  • Space Opera
  • 280 pages


The Malkus artefacts re-emerge in the twenty-fourth century. One will turn a grieving Maquis into a mass murderer, and one will put the entire quadrant in danger. Only Starfleet’s finest have a chance of stopping the madness . . .


The somewhat unimaginatively named ‘Book Two’ of The Brave and the Bold is not a novel. It actually consists of two novellas. So far as I can see, however, these novellas were not published separately at any point, making the series more a mosaic novel than a collection of shorts. This is a series that straddles all Trek series prior to its publication, with the first book having involved Archer, Kirk, and Sisko at various points. This second book has one novella focusing on Voyager‘s future crew, and one involving the cast of The Next Generation. As is often the case with books that combine stories, one of these narratives is a lot more interesting than the other.

The Voyager sections kicks things off very nicely indeed. It’s set prior to the pilot of that show, and works to tie in Voyager‘s Maquis origins to the Maquis seen elsewhere in the franchise. Given that the concept was invented specifically for Voyager, it’s ironic that the best Maquis episodes took place in Deep Space Nine and The Next Generation. Here we see Chakotay working alongside DS9’s Cal Hudson, a pairing that sparkles for all the short page count. When the Maquis get their hands on a terraforming device, it provides ample opportunity for the group to wring their hands over ethics. Just how far can a freedom fighter go before they become a terrorist?

This being a prequel, we also get to see Tuvok infiltrating the Maquis for the first time, with introductions to Chakotay and Torres in particular. This is an element that never really came up in the show, so it’s nice to see it being fleshed out in a little more detail. That being said, at only novella length, there isn’t a whole lot of depth to this story. It’s fun, but feels more like a flashback within a larger story, than a full narrative in itself. Though I grant you that it is indeed, only part of a bigger narrative, so that’s to be expected.

The second novella is much weaker, for the simple fact that there is too much going on. It’s the same length as the first, but is overburdened by the need to wrap up everything that has happened in the series up to that point. DeCandido admirably gives everyone on the Enterprise something to do, but also folds in characters from across the franchise, including the literary-original crew of a Klingon battleship. There are simply too many characters to keep track of over the course of a hundred and forty or so pages. In addition to chronicling the fourth artefact, it also concludes character arcs that have run through the third artefact’s section, and presumably longer. It just doesn’t quite come together as it should.

Overstuffed final act aside, The Brave and the Bold: Book Two is a fun little read. It probably won’t take you more than a day or so to finish, so even with its faults there’s not much to be made out. DeCandido was one of the big names of the earlier phase of the Litverse, and this is the first of his work that I’ve read. Based on the strengths of the Voyager material seen here, I’m eager to read more.

Rating: 3 out of 5.

Deeper Dive: Crossovers

Despite there being almost a thousand episodes by this point, actual crossover episodes of Star Trek are quite rare. Perhaps a character might crop up in another series, or an alien race appear in more than one series, and of course Voyager and Deep Space Nine both crossed over with the original series to celebrate the franchise’s 30th anniversary, while Enterprise‘s era-crossing finale proved contentious to say the least. But two full crews never fought side by side.

The Litverse was different. Free from budgetary restraints and the complexities of cast scheduling, any tow characters could conceivably meet one another. Reg Barclay permanently joined the Voyager relaunch, while Tuvok served under Captain Riker on the Titan. Major crossover events such as Destiny, Typhon Pact, and The Fall saw multiple crews all facing the same threat. It was a glorious time.

That being said, these epics were exactly that. Epic tales told across three, five, or seven books. There was breathing space for everyone. Time given for both the immediate threat and the ongoing character arcs. In a single volume, things get squeezed together. There isn’t enough room for a full crossover story, and so the simple fact of the crossover becomes the story. That feels like the case with The Brave and the Bold, where it’s fun to see characters from one show meeting those from another, but there’s little to be seen on the page beyond the initial shock of that meeting.

2 responses to “BOOK REVIEW: The Brave and the Bold: Book Two, by Keith R. A. DeCandido”

  1. Athena (OneReadingNurse) Avatar
    Athena (OneReadingNurse)

    I thought Barclay died >•> the litverse seems way too long and big to get into at this point, so convoluted lol ill stick with the TV shows! DeCandido also wrote in the warcraft universe and I recall liking his writing well enough


  2. MONTHLY ROUNDUP: April 2023 – At Boundary's Edge Avatar

    […] Book: The Brave and the Bold, by Keith R. A. DeCandido […]


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